Animal welfare groups have welcomed the news that €3.2m is to be shared among 101 organisations throughout the country.
A number of Munste-based organisations will benefit from the funding, which was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue.
The Donkey Sanctuary, located in Liscarrol, Mallow received one of the largest funding boosts in Munster, with €170,000. The Cork SPCA, got €110,000, while Limerick Animal Welfare Ltd, based in Kilfinane Co Limerick received €69,000.
Thank you Minister @McConalogue and @agriculture_ie for the €170,000 in funding awarded to our charity today. In a challenging year, our team has supported almost 1,400 donkey owners across Ireland and cared for our resident herd of over 1,100 animals. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/ciOQqBdyfX— The Donkey Sanctuary Ireland (@DonkeySancIre) December 16, 2020
A spokesperson for the Donkey Sanctuary, which has over 1,100 donkeys and mules in its direct care, said they were delighted to receive the funding.
“This year has been very difficult for our charity and this funding will be put to good use, helping us to look after the donkeys in our care and supporting donkeys in desperate need across Ireland,” the spokesperson added.
The open farm, which usually traditionally welcomes 50,000 visitors a year, has been closed to the public since March, hugely impacting the charity's income, with many man-hours of care still needed.
“Our farm and vet staff continue to work hard, caring for our donkeys and mules. The members of our welfare team are working tirelessly in the community, offering donkey owners’ expert advice and vital support, from access to emergency vet and farrier treatments to help directly re-homing donkeys and mules, when they can no longer be cared for,” the spokesperson said.
Marion Fitzgibbon, who runs Limerick Animal Welfare, says that the organisation is grateful for the funding, but the costs the organisation has to bear are growing every year.
“We got an increase on the money given last year and that is great because we really need it, particularly at this time of year. We have around 250 animals and 17 members of staff, who we have kept on through all this. We rely heavily on the shops we have, but due to Covid, they have all been closed,” Marion explained.
“Our budget for the year is about €800,000, and our monthly costs are about €70,000. So the €69,000 is very helpful, but it only really covers a month. But January is a particularly hard month, so we are grateful because if we didn’t get it I don’t know how we’d see February,” she added.
Nationally, the ISPCA National Animal Centre in Longford and DSPCA in Rathfarnham, Dublin received the largest funding boost, with €535,000 each.
The ISPCA Equine Rescue Centre in Mallow also benefited with a €35,000 boost.
“Without financial support, the ISPCA would not be able to continue its vital work caring for Ireland’s most cruelly treated, neglected and abused animals," the ISPCA's Carmel Murray said.